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The Problem Thread


jonnylons
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Call me crazy, but I think the main problem with this team is our pitching. Sure, I think when you have rain delays it really messes with any type of consistency you may be working towards, and our bullpen is overworked, but what I saw tonight was appaling.

 

These guys have the tools, but cant throw strikes. Too many times in this series have I seen the Marlins pitchers just not be able to close the door with 2 outs. The Braves are using all their luck against us and I dont know why. I do know that our pitchers are NOT getting it done though - and that includes everyone except Benitez and Pavano.

 

Koch's problem is his mechanics. His release is ugly and is very inconsistent. It changes from pitch to pitch and I wonder if his balance is off. He has the tools, but he has to get his mechanics worked out.

 

Willis is concerning me. Last night, I saw a guy pitching worrying about too many things. They have messed with his mechanics TOO MUCH and he is not out there just pitching his game. He is concentrating, robotic. I also think he needs to get into better shape and get better balance. His delivery seems to suffer from his movements - but only because he doesnt have them under control. His kick isnt as high and that is throwing him off.

 

Howard cant locate his pitches effectively and is in love with his fastball. MLB hitters will all eat fastballs up. Anyone can hit a fastball.

 

Penny - see Howard. His stuff hasnt been on of late, and yes, I will forgive him for last night too. But his fastball is overused and predictable. He has to get back to pitching and not throwing.

 

That is just a few. I think the offense is fine and is capable of winning games PROVIDED we get good, quality, consistent pitching. If we dont, we arent the Phillies and cant win with offense. In fact, very few teams can win consistently with a good offense and mediocre pitching.

 

Face it, right now, our pitching is a big, big problem.

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Our starting pitching is 6th best in the NL so far.....underperforming

Our relief pitching is 10th best in the NL.......less than average, 12th best if not for Benitez.

Our team hitting is 9th best in the NL....just under average.

 

So you really can't say any one aspect of our team is the total cause. But it is clear we are lacking everywhere. Right now we are not playing well enough to hold the division lead, or make it to the playoffs for that matter.

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it's the bullpen. tonight's a perfect example. there is a HUGE difference between being down 7-6, as we were in the top of the 7th, and being down 9-6 as we were after Perisho gave up those two runs in the bottom of the inning. this team is not built to have "big innings"...it's built to get a guy on base, move him along, knock him in. part of the reason why the "small ball" has been missing, i think, is that it only really makes sense to steal, or hit and run, or bunt the runner across, if the score is tied or if you only need one run. any more than that and the outs become to precious to waste.

 

a whole lot has been made about needing a guy who can hold onto a one-run lead until we get to Benitez. but it's just as important, maybe more so, for us to have a guy who can keep a one-run deficit from getting any larger. because one we're put into a position where we need 2+ runs in order to win late in the game, we have to toss small-ball out and go for the big inning, and we're not built for that. Manzanillo could be that guy, but only if we get someone else to pitch the 7th\8th innings.

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it's the bullpen.? tonight's a perfect example.? there is a HUGE difference between being down 7-6, as we were in the top of the 7th, and being down 9-6 as we were after Perisho gave up those two runs in the bottom of the inning.? this team is not built to have "big innings"...it's built to get a guy on base, move him along, knock him in.? part of the reason why the "small ball" has been missing, i think, is that it only really makes sense to steal, or hit and run, or bunt the runner across, if the score is tied or if you only need one run.? any more than that and the outs become to precious to waste.

 

a whole lot has been made about needing a guy who can hold onto a one-run lead until we get to Benitez.? but it's just as important, maybe more so, for us to have a guy who can keep a one-run deficit from getting any larger.? because one we're put into a position where we need 2+ runs in order to win late in the game, we have to toss small-ball out and go for the big inning, and we're not built for that.? Manzanillo could be that guy, but only if we get someone else to pitch the 7th\8th innings.

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I agree. I think right now, our bullpen is just too inconsistent and unreliable. No one, other than Mando, can throw stikes consistently. Manzanillo brings life and does seem to throw strikes - you are right, but I dont think we can rely on him as a set up man. But he belongs in the pen.

 

And I think you are right on about small ball disappearing because of the bullpen. But I dont want to pin this all on the pen, our starters havent lived up to expectations, as PBMarlin pointed out. We have to get our starters back healthy and in full form to really see things start to turn.

 

The good news is, we have time to get things right.

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